Samastipur (Bihar): Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday called the NYAY scheme a surgical strike on poverty and asserted that the proposed minimum income guarantee programme was not populist but based on sound economics.Gandhi also sought to allay apprehensions of the middle class saying he guaranteed that the salaried people will have to pay not a single paisa from their pockets to fund the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) scheme. Addressing a rally in this north Bihar town where he shared the stage, for the first time after general elections were announced, with RJD heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav, Gandhi also deplored the insulting treatment meted out to Lalu Prasad, the jailed supremo of his alliance partner and warned the BJP-led coalition of a backlash in the polls. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Former state minister Ashok Ram of Congress is pitted against Ramchandra Paswan, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s brother, at Samastipur (sc,reserved seat). Commencing his nearly 25-minute-long speech with an apology for turning up late because of a snag in his aircraft, Gandhi greeted the crowds with Ki haal chaal chhe (how are you) in the local Maithili dialect and went on to add with a smirk has not Modi looted you a lot. Lakhs of crores have been gifted to thieves like Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya by the chowkidar (watchman an epithet the Prime Minister uses for himself). Public money to the tune of 5.55 lakh crore has been siphoned off by 15 persons close to Modi, Gandhi alleged. Bihar was promised a special package, besides there were promises of two crore jobs, Rs 15 lakh into the accounts of all poor, Gandhi recalled, adding kuchh nahin sab jhootha hai, Narendra Modi ne loota hai”, (all promises are proven false. Narendra Modi has robbed people of whatever they had). Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KCalling the NYAY programme proposed in his partys manifesto a surgical strike on poverty, Gandhi declared the scheme will be entirely funded with the money that thieves like Anil Ambani plunder with Narendra Modis help. This is sound economics too as the money thus given to the poor would boost the demand for consumer goods and thereby give an impetus to commerce and industries, Gandhi claimed. The Congress president also mocked the prime pinister for making military operations carried out after terror attacks in Uri and Pulwama a poll plank and quipped wherever he goes he gives discourses on the surgical strikes since he is left with nothing else. He carries teleprompter wherever he goes to deliver his speeches, he said and turned towards the young RJD leader for a moment saying Tejashwi ji, you too would have noticed the teleprompter. He delivers his speeches from the text on the teleprompter and in the meantime keeps getting orders from above don’t talk about rozgar (employment)…remit into accounts of every poor Indian.